Teaching this Fall?
LSU Online is offering professional development workshops, resources, and support to guide and aid you through the (re)development of your on-campus courses for online delivery. For further information, visit the LSU Training and Event Registration site.
Here are some best practices that faculty found useful when teaching this past Spring and Summer.
As you work to transition your course, utilize support resources within your department, LSU Online, as well as the Faculty Technology Center to determine teaching and assessment solutions or troubleshoot issues. Advise your students to utilize the IT Help Desk and online tutoring services through CAS as they also manage this transition. Please see the resources and links below for support offerings.
Webinars: Strategies for Remote Teaching
For additional insight into teaching online, please watch this recorded webinar.Watch Video
Should you need assistance, please contact the FTC:
M-F: 8:00am - 4:30pm
Need Gradebook help?
Virtual Walk-ins 2pm-4pm, M-F
Due to the needs of so many faculty during this time, we're working in 15 minute engagements to ensure all faculty can take advantage of our support and services. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.
Faculty Guide for Remote Teaching
LSU has prepared resources to guide faculty on how to convert their face-to-face classes for remote instruction to ensure continuity of learning. Please find guidance below as well as printables, videos, and step-by-step instructions to support this process.
We are recommending that faculty use the "lowest tech" option when transitioning to a temporary remote delivery for courses. Considerations include internet bandwidth, the need for closed-captioning for videos, the ability to utilize instructional resources offline, the technical specifications of student computers, etc., all of which can present challenges. Our recommendations include:
- Instead of recording a PPT with voice over, post the PPT and lecture notes as a file
- Instead of recording a face-to-face lecture, record mini-lectures. Better yet, link to existing videos, websites, and articles
- Instead of having a proctored, multiple-choice test, consider an assignment with a robust rubric
- Utilize the discussion forums on Moodle to engage with students
Distance instruction requires instructors to engage in what is known as Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI). This means that qualified faculty reach out proactively to students around the academic content of the course on a regular basis (minimum of weekly).
During this time of global disruption, it is important that remote learning environments are inclusive and supportive of diverse communities. This resource from San Diego State University provides some great guidance on Maintaining Equity and Inclusion in Virtual Learning Environments.
Some publishers and companies are offering access to free interactive courseware and textbooks for the next couple of months. We do not recommend the use of new publisher courseware; instead we recommend to keep it simple and to default to known content that you have already utilized in your courses.
Set up Course Basics in Moodle
To get your basic course set up in Moodle, begin by uploading your syllabus and making your course available in Moodle. This will allow you to keep all of your course information, teaching materials, and communication in one place. You can also use Moodle to administer discussions, exams, and assignments for the remainder of the semester. You may also add your TA or guest instructor to assist in course management.
- Watch the Moodle in Under 10! Video
- Make Your Course Available
- Add a TA or Guest Instructor
- How to Access Moodle on a Mobile Device
- How to Access a Quiz in a Moodle Course on a mobile device
For additional information, you can download this resource guide.
Communicate with Your Students
Communicate proactively, early, and often with your students by using Moodle Mail to contact all students at once. Post details on where to check for course updates and how to complete assignments. Provide options for virtual office hours via phone or Zoom.
Cultivate and maintain instructor presence to keep students engaged. Please see the Six Best Practices for Effective Online Teaching and Being There: Creating Online Instructor Presence for a general overview of some recommended best practices.
The Department of Education (ED) has provided guidelines for courses that are being moved online. For more information, read Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The following tools provide ideas for communicating and engaging with your students. Click on each section to learn more about the uses, the instructional benefits, and considerations.
Hold office hours, one-on-one synchronous meetings, or virtual lectures with your students. Office hours or one-on-one meetings provide time for students to ask about grades, assignments, or content. Virtual lectures allow engagement between faculty and students, and provide an alternate way for faculty to present lecture material. A webcam and/or headset are recommended. Zoom is also available to students if they want to host their own meetings for activities and projects.
Do not require synchronous sessions. Instead, provide multiple opportunities for meetings and record meetings when appropriate. If posting recorded videos to your Moodle course, remember they must be closed captioned.
GROK: Zoom Overview
Continue to communicate with your students through email or Moodle mail.
Respond to emails in 24 hours.
GROK: Snap: Moodle Mail
Forums within Moodle can be used for engaging with students asynchronously. Use the “Announcements” forum to send updates and reminders to students. An archive of all announcements will stay in the course and the announcement will also be delivered to the students’ email.
Respond to student posts within 24 hours.
GROK: Forum Overview
Prepare your Content and Lectures
Use a combination of different types of media and varied modes of instruction (i.e., asynchronous and synchronous) based on your course and students. You can upload existing written or video lectures to Moodle, create discussion forums or activities, link to any textbook and/or other outside resources. Below are some tools for transitioning your course content for remote instruction. Click on each section to learn more about the uses, the instructional benefits, and considerations.
Record micro-lectures of content, examples, and explanations. These can be uploaded/embedded in Moodle as a video or audio.
All videos must be captioned and adhere to accessibility standards with a transcript provided to students. Keep the videos short.
Embed text, images, and videos - transform PowerPoints, text,images, and multimedia into accessible content.
All materials must adhere to accessibility standards.
Video: How to edit Moodle Book
Uses: Deliver a lecture and connect with students synchronously over Zoom (web-conferencing tool). You can share your screen, a PowerPoint, use the whiteboard application, and enable your webcam (optional). All LSU Faculty and Students have access to Zoom’s premiere services through LSU Zoom.
If posting recorded videos to your Moodle course, remember they must be closed captioned. The “record to the cloud” option automatically captions your video and make the recording available to your students within Moodle. For more information, visit Zoom’s Help Center on Cloud Recording.
Avoid requiring synchronous class sessions as students might find it difficult to attend. Provide a link to the recording instead. This can take a few hours to become available following the session.
Video: Zoom: Scheduling a Meeting
GROK: Zoom Desktop Client
The “Imperfect” guides below are for faculty teaching in disciplines that may have activities challenging to transition quickly to a virtual environment. Since time is of the essence, we have expeditiously put together some simple ideas you may consider for remote teaching.
Modify Activities and Assessments
As you are updating your syllabus, activities, and assessments, build in flexibility to your due dates and attendance. As you think of moving your class activities online, think of the purpose of each. For example, if collaboration is the purpose, create a discussion forum; if the purpose is assessing student’s knowledge, create a quiz or assignment activity. The following are some recommended tools and activities for delivering your course assessments. Click on each section to learn more about the uses, the instructional benefits, and considerations.
For those who are rethinking their assessment strategy, this article on A Rationale for Replacing High Stakes Exams with Multiple-Attempt Low-Stakes Quizzes may be useful.
Uses: Allows the instructor to create and deliver quizzes or exams. Provides auto-graded option, immediate feedback option, limited attempts, time restrictions.
Depending on the type of quiz question (multiple-choice, essay, short-answer) instructor grading may be required.
This is a recorded in-service training session by the Design team on Quiz creation.
Enables instructors to grade and give feedback comments on student submissions. Assignments can be on and offline. Use rubrics to clarify assignment expectations and ensure consistent grading.
Feedback should be provided within 48 hours of submission.
Discussions Forums facilitate sharing of thoughts and ideas about class materials. Select the “Standard forum for general use” forum type to engage students around key concepts. Students files or upload/embed videos and images.
Discussions should be moderated by the instructor. Review posts in a timely manner and provide a single response to summarize the conversation and clarify misconceptions.
Use the Gradebook setup page provides instructors access to set up and make changes to their SNAP-themed Moodle course gradebook. Options available in this view include creating and editing grade categories and graded items.
Contact the Faculty Technology Center (FTC) to ensure the gradebook settings are consistent with what you have outlined in your syllabus.
Instructors can have their exams proctored by an outside agency to ensure academic integrity. Exams are created in Moodle, and set with a password for the proctoring service to be able to administer exams. Proctored exams ensure academic integrity.
Students should be made aware that there is an associated cost to take an online proctored exam. To minimize financial impact for students, proctored exams should be reserved for major exams such as a final exam.
For faculty the focus should be on providing alternative assessments that do not require live proctoring.
Information is provided to help instructors make informed decisions about their alternatives.
Due to the volume of assessments to move online there will be limited scalability for vendors such as ProctorU. It will not be possible to continue to administer the same number of tests as usual. Please consider the following alternative assessment options in order to reduce the number of ProctorU tests.
If I currently have a course with traditional proctored exams as a major component of student assessment. Now that my coursework is online how do I assess student learning in an online environment?
Are tests the only assessment type that will let me know if my students have met my learning objectives?
- Yes - go to step 2
- No - go to "Alternative Assessment Strategies" below
Can I give my students an open book test or a test that focuses on concepts rather than easily found facts?
- Yes - use open book or conceptual question exam no proctoring required
- No - go to section “Proctoring Exam Online” below for more information about proctored exams
There are many ways that students can demonstrate that they have achieved your learning objectives. These range from familiar formats such as written reports, PowerPoint presentations, and final project outputs (designs, objects, programs, etc.) to less familiar formats (audio recording of explanations, videos of final project descriptions). These can be done individually or in groups. Think about your learning objectives and creative ways to assess these.
Alternative Assessment Resources:
The Disability Services testing office will not be open when classes resume in an online format after spring break. This is being done out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our students many of whom have significant health impairments.
Students who are approved for testing accommodations will still be allowed to receive them. Given that the course instruction and testing will now be in various online formats, the application of the accommodation may be quite different than students and faculty usually receive. Disability Services will work with all registered students and their faculty to sort out any difficulties which may arise. The first thing we suggest is to informs students of the planned format of the exams as soon as possible.
We understand format of instruction and exams are being developed and may be changed throughout the rest of the semester. In many cases, the faculty will need to make arrangements for the accommodations to be allowed prior to each exam. For example, if the exam is being done online through ProctorU, the faculty member will need to inform the company of the accommodations students are allowed. Also, DS asked that faculty to remain flexible as the change to online testing may require accommodations or modifications to exams not previously approved or done for a student. We anticipate the possibility of significant challenges for faculty and students and will work with both to resolve the problems as quickly as they arrive.
Please do not hesitate to contact DS at 225-578-5919 or firstname.lastname@example.org if any questions or issues arise.
Tools for Working Remotely
Spring 2020 FAQ: Academic Continuity Plan
Academic Continuity Plan and Guidelines
The two main principles guiding the LSU Academic Continuity Plan are maintaining the health and wellness of the campus community and ensuring the continuity of academic programming.
LSU is currently following the CDC guidelines:
- Wash hands frequently
- Cough into elbow
- Travel: see the official LSU Coronavirus webpage to find official updates
Yes. The plan for the short-term is to move to a low-tech online and remote instructional environment to complete the semester. The timeline on this is short, and effective tools and techniques can be implemented for most disciplines.
Faculty Resources for Moving to Online Instruction
Yes. A faculty resource page for faculty has been established. Most, if not all, of the information and tools that LSU has at its disposal to conduct online courses are available here. In addition, real-time faculty support via a “help desk” model will be available M-F 7am-9pm and on the weekends from 8am-8pm. Contact information is on the resource page.
Yes. In recognition that not all faculty have access to sophisticated video or computing resources, we are recommending the “lowest tech” option for remote instruction, particularly in terms of the use of video content. For example, instead of recording a voiceover for a PowerPoint and then close captioning it, we would recommend posting the PPT and lecture notes for this temporary remote conversion. This “lowest tech” emphasis will ensure that students with lower bandwidth or less sophisticated computers will still be able to access information and engage with it, while also ensuring there are no accessibility concerns. This is largely an asynchronous approach – when instructors do not need to be online during their course time – and when carried out appropriately, it is an effective and acceptable mode of instruction. More information can be found on the faculty resource page.
Yes, you can do that – it is called synchronous instruction. The university uses a platform called Zoom, which allows video and/or audio conferencing for up to 300 participants at once. We also have special licenses for those courses that have more than 300 students. Information is available on the faculty resource page.
On the resource page, you will find that we have an institutional subscription to ProctorU, which can be used for this purpose. There is a cost for students to use this service. We are trying very hard to limit the unanticipated costs incurred to students. In addition, the university is not in a position to suddenly assume significant costs for this service on the student’s behalf. The Office of Academic Affairs asks that instructional faculty do everything they can to be mindful of minimizing costs to students. This is an unusual and unanticipated situation. Faculty should exercise some leeway in how they assess student performance and mastery of the material. This may involve utilizing some practices that you would not normally institute, but may still be pedagogically and academically sound. The faculty are best positioned to discern what these practices are for their own disciplines. We must emphasize though that instructional faculty will have to get creative and will likely have to do some things differently than they originally planned in order to complete the semester. We do not anticipate classes will be cancelled, and intend to complete the spring semester. Learn more about Online Proctoring.
Yes. Courses delivered online must meet what is known as “Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI).” This is typically defined as interactions by qualified instructors that are centered around the academic content of the course, both (1) initiated by the instructor, and (2) engaged in on a regular basis.
Examples of RSI include the use of weekly discussion forums, responding to student emails, providing feedback on assignments and assessments, engaging in synchronous lectures, conversations or office hours, and doing so on at least a weekly basis. See the faculty resource page for more information.
Given the current situation, faculty are allowed to make changes to their syllabi. Changes should be justifiable and relative to pedagogical necessity to change to an online instructional environment.
Yes. LSU is expecting instructional faculty to be prepared to fully transition to remote teaching by the start of classes on Monday, March 30, 2020. To the extent feasible, we recommend piloting or “test runs” prior to this date so that faculty can troubleshoot issues, if necessary.
Faculty members should be prepared to make their courses online or move to remote instruction as soon as possible. If they seek to change modalities before official instructions to do so, they should get permission from their department chair.
Yes. In this situation, a course that has not been certified can be offered through remote instruction.
The faculty member or an immediate family member should contact the academic department chair immediately.
Student Resources for Moving to Online Instruction
Yes. Students who are registered with the Office of Disability Services should stay in close contact with their office liaison to ensure continuity through the end of the semester. Students, who have not registered with the Office of Disability Services but anticipate they will need to do so in order to successfully complete the semester, should do so immediately. For more information, see the Office of Disability Services website. Students can request accommodations up until the time of an exam.
University Policy Statement 22 provides for missed coursework and making up coursework due to legitimate personal illness. This policy statement will be adhered to.
Graduate and undergraduate students who have thesis or dissertation defenses scheduled for this semester should coordinate directly with their chair in order to determine how the defense will take place.
Students will be able to seek advisor assistance through Zoom, email, and by phone, depending on what unit provides advising support for them. Students can use the Navigate app to schedule their appointment time. The Office of the University Registrar has already communicated with relevant student advising offices about online forms, how to handle signatures, and related matters.
No. There have not been any changes to the academic calendar at this time.
No. There have not been any changes to the grade submission process at this time.